Most of my visitors to the house with no name love the beach.
Some even refer to visiting me as "going to the beach." At least, I think that is how they are pronouncing the last word.
The sentiment is understandable. Both Melaque and Barra de Navidad leverage their beaches to prise pesos out of tourist pockets.
If you listen to the Chamber of Commerce types in town, you would believe no better beaches exist in the world. But that is just grandparent talk. You know the type. With an SD card filled with photographs of the most intelligent and stunning grandchildren in the world.
But, not all grandchildren are photogenic -- and not all beaches are paradise. That is also true of our beaches around Navidad Bay. They certainly have their charms. But there are better on offer.
A half hour drive to the north and west will put you on one of Mexico's most stunning beaches. Tenacatita Bay.
Actually, there are a series of beaches broken up by rock formations. But the bay has the best Mexico has to offer.
A wide bay peppered with sail boats. Steep cliffs surrounding miles of flat beaches. Fishing villages that would look at home in a Medvedev. And an eternal law suit that long ago strangled hope in its cradle.
The bay was what initially attracted me to this part of Mexico. When I flew down in 2007, I fully intended to buy a house on the hill above La Manzanilla where I could sit each morning and write my essays while watching the activities on the bay.
It didn't happen. What did happen is that I try to visit the bay as often as I can. I never miss the opportunity to show it off to visitors.
So, Robin and I were off for the day to my favorite spot on the bay's beach -- Chantile Mar. A boutique hotel with all of the assets found in good resorts. But scaled down to family size.
When my family is here, we usually set up recreational shop at a corner table on the deck. Out comes Mexico train and the lunch menu.
I almost always order Pasta Diablo. Despite its name, it does not have a tinge of spiciness. It would be far better if it did.
But it is sufficient to meet my lunch needs. Shrimp, tomatoes, bell peppers, and spinach in a gorgonzola, white wine, and cream sauce over a bed of fettuccine. For $180. Inexpensive and filling.
Between the food and the view, we will sit there for hours, occasionally getting up to walk short miles to La Manzanilla and back.
Walking on the beach surrounding Navidad Bay is a chore. It is either too soft -- or the tilt is to great that only an Alpine cow would find it comfortable.
Tenacatita offers wide, flat beaches of compact sand. (I suspect the mud content is rather high.) And the walk is filled with plenty of diversions.
Nature offered up this oyster shell. I think it is the first one I have seen with the mantle still partially intact.
And, the walk would not be complete without another hotel ruin to remind us that, just like the rest of the North American Pacific coast, this is earthquake country.
One reason I chose not to live in La Manzanilla is that, even more than Oakland, there is no there there. There is lots of solitude. And long lonely walks that give an opportunity to contemplate that the existentialists may have been correct about all of that meaningless of life stuff.
But, I leave that reverie to you classically-educated scholars.
Me? I simply like to walk along the beach picking up the thalassic flotsam and jetsam that the GOP (grand old Pacific) sends my way.
And, in just eleven more days, I will have a family to take there.